I came across this video, and decided to go ahead and share it.
The gist is that teenagers naturally have a later sleep-wake cycle, and the fact that many high schools start before 8am is damaging their brain development.
This is not new information — we talked about this when I was in high school back in the 2000’s, and the teachers were very aware that our 7:30am start time was bad for everyone. My school even experimented with implementing periodic late-start days, to see how it could address the problem. But you know how it is with bureaucracy: twenty years later, nothing has changed.
I don’t talk much about homeschooling my kids, but this is one of the reasons why I went with that option; I still have a naturally late circadian rhythm, and getting up early every morning to get the kids ready and off to school would kill me. In the vein of “been there, done that,” I know that it would very quickly reduce me down to a depressed, horrible mess that bursts into tears every time the alarm goes off. I am not a morning person.
Because my husband is also a night owl, I’m expecting our children to turn out much the same. With homeschooling, everyone can wake up naturally without relying on alarm clocks, and we’re free to enjoy a leisurely breakfast before we get started on the day.
I’m very much of the opinion that the modern lifestyle is incompatible with how our brains and bodies evolved to function — and that’s why society has growing rates of emotional disorders and health problems. I love my children as the vibrant and vivacious individuals that they are, and I could never make them sit in a classroom all day while they are subjected to a “one size fits all” approach to education.
We were meant to move and use our bodies, and to follow our unique passions and curiosities.